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Help Please... Computer in BAD SHAPE!


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#1
nkesport

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Hey everyone,

I just registered for this site a couple minutes ago. I do not know a ton about computers but I can manage the average kind of stuff. I have a Dell Dimension 4500 PC with an 18gb hard drive and 768mb of ram. I run windows XP. I have a couple of problems that I definately need help with. I will start with the easier ones. My first question is how would I go about installing a bigger hard drive to my computer. 18 gb is just not enough! I doubt that my BIOS will allow anything much over 30gb or so, so I know I would need to do a BIOS Flash or something like that. I would love to have a hard drive around 250gb. Secondly... I currently have Norton antivirus and I just deleted ad-aware. What are the best anti virus programs, and spyware programs that you can buy. I don't really like the free ones. I just don't trust them. ANd last but not least... I am saving up for a laptop, and plend to spend about $2100. I am a pretty big gamer(although I usualy stay offline), and I like to listen to music. So I know that I want Windows Vista Premium. But I have no idea what company I should look into for a laptop. I want it to be fast.

NOW... to the challenging stuff. The biggest problem right now is the fact that I deleted a piece of WINDOWS SERVICE PACK 2 (it was in the temporary files, and I wasn't thinking that day). Anyways... the system seems to be fine, but I know somethings a little off. I tried downloading it from microsoft, and reinstalling it, but I had no luck. I don't know what to do. Oh yeah... Windows Update doesn't recognize that anything is missing, and I can't run any of the C:/ drive maintnece programs like the programs you use to search the drive for errors or to find all the temporary files windows can get rid of... weird huh? So thats one of my big problems, and I don't know how to go about fixing it. I would consider reinstalling windows, but we had Dell install everything before we got the computer, so I doubt that would work. I also don't know what CD to use, or if I even have it for that matter. I have no idea how to reinstall windows anyway.

The other big problem is Norton Anti Virus will not complete a full scan. It always gets stuck somewhere around 14,000 files into the scan. I can't figure out why... it has been doing this the past couple of times I've tried to do a scan. I got a virus about a month ago, and Norton Caught it with a little help from me. It infected like 13 files before I could stop it and quarenteen the files. It went after my firewall first, and then system 32.

Please help me!!!!!!!!!! I would like to still be able to use this computer.
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#2
pip22

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About your views on anti-virus programs -- you are misguided if you think the free ones can't be trusted. And your reliance on Norton AV is certainly ill advised. A test feature I just read in "Computer Shopper" magazine pitted 8 AV programs against each other using 'real' viruses that we are all likely to come across. The free "AVG Anti-Virus" came well ahead of Norton. In fact Norton AV was heavily criticised for being a rip-off and using it's famous name to lull people into a false sense of security. What's more, AVG uses half the memory to do a better job.
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#3
nkesport

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I know... I've heard a lot about how bad Norton is. Once I get my new laptop, I think I will probably get Microsoft Liveone. Or whatever that protection thingy is from microsoft... unless there is a really good one that I don't know about. But what should I do about My computer issues?
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#4
Queen_Evie

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NOW... to the challenging stuff. The biggest problem right now is the fact that I deleted a piece of WINDOWS SERVICE PACK 2 (it was in the temporary files, and I wasn't thinking that day). Anyways... the system seems to be fine, but I know somethings a little off. I tried downloading it from microsoft, and reinstalling it, but I had no luck. I don't know what to do. Oh yeah... Windows Update doesn't recognize that anything is missing, and I can't run any of the C:/ drive maintnece programs like the programs you use to search the drive for errors or to find all the temporary files windows can get rid of... weird huh? So thats one of my big problems, and I don't know how to go about fixing it. I would consider reinstalling windows, but we had Dell install everything before we got the computer, so I doubt that would work. I also don't know what CD to use, or if I even have it for that matter. I have no idea how to reinstall windows anyway.

You didn't delete anything SP2 uses to function. The file is downloaded to the Temporary Files folder and run from there. The file remains in the Temporary Files folder until it is deleted. SP2 is still on your computer, unless you removed it using ADD/REMOVE programs.
And since Windows Updates show nothing for it, you still have it installed. By the way, programs that you download and run end up there also while being installed. So it is a good idea to clear the temp files to free up disk space.
The SP2 temporary file can consume up to approximately 130 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space.
You have other issues going on that is preventing you from running the maintenance programs.

Concerning paid vs free programs, I am a firm believer that paid is not always better. I've used Zone Alarm free and AVG free for a long time. I prefer them over Norton, McAfee, and a few others. And for what its worth, I refuse to use a security suite. They tend to be bloated resource hogs. Each component of Norton is a resource hog, put all those components together and you have one huge hog on your system.

Edited by Queen_Evie, 26 February 2007 - 04:50 PM.

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#5
Major Payne

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You may still be infected. I would recommend you go to the Malware section of this forum. Once they give you a bill of health for your PC and you still have problems, then post back here. Please read the pinned topics as well as follow the instructions carefully. This is a busy section so please be patient.

Ron
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#6
nkesport

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Thanks... I will check out the malware place. But where can you safely remove files from the computer. Judging the fact that my hard drive is smaller than most mp3 players, I need to keep it as clean as possible. One of the reasons I'm in this mess is because I deleted a file that window's needed. I want to get good at this kind of stuff, so any help would be great.
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#7
nkesport

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Oh yeah, and I still want to add a new hard drive to my computer but only know how to install it into my computer... not set it up. On top of this, I am currently in the market for a new laptop, and have no idea what to get. I will probably spend around 2500 on the laptop itself.
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#8
ultimateslacker2

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Hey nkesport.

About your hard drive upgrade, let me look up your BIOS date to see if its reasonable of holding 250gb which it should but I'll double check for you :whistling:

For your laptop, what do you want to do with it? Are you a gamer?
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#9
Queen_Evie

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Setting up a new hard drive is easy. After you install the drive, put the OS on it. Simple as that.
I do, however, suggest you read the manual that comes with the drive before you actually install it, even though you know how to install it.

If you have 2 drive bays, you can keep the one you have now and set it up as your slave drive.
After you get the OS on the new one, hook up the old one. Then you can move any files from the slave to the master. (Pictures, documents, music, favorites, etc). But you will have to reinstall any programs to the new drive. (Firewall, antivirus, that type of thing). After you move everything over, you can set the old drive up for storage only. Just double check to make sure everything is moved before wiping the drive.

Edited by Queen_Evie, 26 February 2007 - 09:24 PM.

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#10
ultimateslacker2

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You should be able to get the BIOS to read the full 250gigs you want.
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#11
Major Payne

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Oh yeah, and I still want to add a new hard drive to my computer but only know how to install it into my computer... not set it up. On top of this, I am currently in the market for a new laptop, and have no idea what to get. I will probably spend around 2500 on the laptop itself.

Might check out this topic:

Installing a second HD

Samm is very good at this.

Usually, to safely remove programs is to use their uninstall programs. If the program is listed under Start/All Programs and there is an uninstall listed under the program's name, then use that. Or open Control Panel 's Add/Remove Programs, scroll down to program and click Remove. Just don't remove all those uninstall files on your drive to save space or you'll have to delete the program's folder from the HD and then track down any registry changes it may have put in if you have problems.

Ron
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#12
nkesport

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Hey guy's. I really appreciate all the help I'm getting. I've spent the entire night researching partitioning hard drives, and various performance tweaks. I'm going to college next year, and I want to take a class that will teach me how to build a computer, install various programs, set up hard drives... you know all that tech kind of stuff. It should be fun. Do any of you guys no what this major is called. I have a feeling it's something like COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY.

By the way ultimateslacker2, my computer is at least 5 years old, maybe 6. I added another 512mb of ram to give me 768mb, and my motherboard can hold a maximum of 1 gig. I have a dell dimension 4500, and I doubt that BIOS would support a hard drive that big. Don't you think I would need to do a BIOS update? As far as the laptop that I want to get goes, I like to play games on my computer. I wouldn't call myself a gamer, but I definitely like to play them. This means I need a really good graphics card, a mid-range cpu, and since I would get Windows Vista Home Premium (I listen to a lot of music, and Premium is more for entertainment purposes), I would need as much RAM as I could get. Not to mention a decent sized hard drive. So to answer your question, I would need a high performance type of computer. Let me know if you can think of anything like this that got some good reviews.

Thanks again everyone for helping me out. I am learning a ton, and although I already knew some of the information, a lot of it is new.
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#13
ultimateslacker2

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If you would like to do a BIOS update, than your benefiting yourself. You are getting all the releases to your motherboard and that is totally fine if you would like to upgrade. Just be very careful about updating. Follow all directions on what they say about upgrading the BIOS.

If you need the site again, I'll look it up for you :whistling:
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